Some letters, vowels and combinations of them are pronounced very different in Dutch and hard to compare to other languages. Below you will find an explanation on how to pronounce them and examples.
The pronunciation of Dutch vowels depends on if it is an open or closed syllable. It is a closed syllable when it is between two consonants. An open syllable is when it is not.
The Dutch language also contains combinations of vowels, which are pronounced differently than the syllables on their own.
|'ee'||Pronounced as 'e', but longer.||Zij eten veel kaas.||They eat a lot of cheese.|
|'oe'||Pronounced as 'oo' in 'boot'.||Ik heb een leuke groep.||I have a nice group.|
|'eu'||Pronounced as 'ur' in 'hurt' with rounded lips.||De leuke jeugd.||The nice youth.|
|'ei/ij'||Pronounced as a combination of 'eh' and 'ee'.||Hij is erg blij.||He is very happy.|
|'uu'||Pronounced as as the short 'u', but longer.||Zij betalen huur.||They pay rent.|
|'ui'||Pronounced as a short 'a' followed by a 'u'.||De ui laat mij huilen.||The onion makes me cry.|
Pronounced as the short 'u', but the tongue and lips have to be moved more to the front.
After that a 'w 'has to be added.
|Uw dochter gaf mij een duw.||Your (formal) daughter pushed me.|
|'ou'||Pronounced similar to the 'ou' in pronounced.||Ik zeg dat ik van je hou.||I am telling you that I love you.|
|'aa'||Pronounced as the short 'a', but longer.||Ze heeft blond haar.||She has blonde hair.|
|'au'||Pronounced as ow in 'how'.||Het vlees is rauw.||The meat is raw.|
|'aai'||Pronounced as the English pronoun 'I'.||De haai zwemt in de baai.||The shark swims in bay.|
|'eeuw'||Pronounced as a long 'e' and followed by 'uw'.||Ik schreeuw de longen uit mijn lijf.||I scream from the top of my longs.|
|'oo'||Pronounced as the 'o' in hope, but longer.||Hij heeft hoop.||He has hope.|
|'ooi'||Pronounced as a long 'o' and followed by an 'i'.||De vogel vliegt uit de kooi.||The bird flies out of the cage.|
|'oei'||Pronounced as a combination of 'oe' and 'ie'.||In de zee drijft een boei.||A buoy is floating in the sea.|
|'ie'||Pronounced as the 'e' in the English personal pronoun 'we'.||Hij zei dat niet.||He did not say that.|
|'ieuw'||Pronounced as a combination of 'ie' and 'uw'.||Vissen hebben kieuwen.||Fish have gills.|
Listen to the audio text to hear the correct pronunciation.
The combination of some consonants are pronounced differently than when they are on there own.
Pronounced like the 'k'.
|Diederick speelt hockey.||Diederick plays hockey.|
|'ng'||Pronounced like the 'ng' in the word 'long' in English.||De lange kring van slingers werd verbroken.||The long circle of garlands was broken.|
|'nj'||Pronounced like the 'ni' in the English word 'onion'.||Het oranje team gaat naar Spanje.||The orange team goes to Spain.|
|'sj'||Pronounced as the 'sh' sound in English.|
Sjoerd sjoemelde met de winstcijfers.
|Sjoerd defrauded the profit figures.|
|'tj'||Pronounced as the 'ch' sound in English.||Het hutje was natgeregend.||The cabin was wet, because of the rain.|
Listen to the audio text to hear the correct pronunciation.
The consonant 'c' is pronounced as 'k' after the a, o, u, l or r. After e, i or ij the 'c' is pronounced as 's'.
An's Bulgarian has tremendously improved since she gave it go a year and a half ago. Of course, It goes without saying that I am pleased to work with such an enthusiastic learner who is living proof that, through hard work and perseverance, everyone can succeed in their language goals. An, you are now an independant user of the language who is able to successfully lead real-live conversations. Pat yourself on the back.
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Fabrizio's children are learning French very fast, I have the impression that these lessons online have been helpful for them and I am sure they will master the language easily. They are very interested in learning.
Thank you, Danilo. It is always a pleasure having lessons with you and I have enjoyed our many conversations together. And what a joy that over time they have become easier for both of us to understand! :D
Σ' ευχαριστώ πολύ Μέγκαν! I'm glad you had a good experience and that you enjoyed it. Your excitment about learning greek motivates me even more :)
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Thank you Dan for the great review! A student like you makes everything easier. I hope to continue like that!
Thanks so much. It is understood that for any difficulty and / or misunderstanding I am at your disposal.Rina
Maria Grazia L.
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